Tom Tykwer’s return to the big screen is getting closer. After seven years working in television, co-creating and co-directing, with Henk Handlogten and Achim von Borries, four seasons of acclaimed period drama Babylon Berlin, the German director of Run Lola Run, The International and Cloud Atlas will mark his movie comeback with the contemporary German-language drama The Light (Das Licht).
Tykwer’s production house X Filme Creative Pool, German distributor X Verleih and Beta Cinema, which have picked up international sales rights for the film, on Thursday unveiled the first look of The Light. The still, which almost resembles a Renaissance painting, features star Tala al Deen bathed in a radiant glow from a device on the table in front of her.
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Al Deen plays Farrah, a mysterious Syrian woman who enters the lives of the Engels, a middle-class German family whose world is slowly unraveling. Nothing appears to be holding the Engels together but Farrah will put the family’s emotional world to an unexpectedly wild test.
Lars Eidinger, Nicolette Krebitz, Elke Biesendorfer, Julius Gause and Elyas Eldridge star as the Engels.
Beta is handling sales on The Light for all territories except German-speaking Europe, France and North America and will start preselling the film at Berlin’s European Film Market later this month.
“After quite a long time, which I spent with Babylon Berlin in the roaring ’20s, I can finally turn my attention back to our present,” says Tykwer about his new film. “In The Light, there is arguing, struggling and fighting, but there is also laughter, singing and dancing. The film aims to challenge the spectrum of emotions and the corresponding narrative possibilities. And the characters are very familiar to me. I want to try to reflect their inner turmoil and make their deep bond tangible for the audience.”
The Light is Tykwer’s first feature film since 2016’s A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks and his first German feature since 2010’s ménage à trois drama 3. A figure on the international film scene since his breakout hit Run Lola Run in 1998, his filmography includes The Princess and the Warrior (2000), Heaven (2002) and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006). He co-directed 2012 sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas with the Wachowski siblings, with whom he also collaborated on the Netflix series Sense 8; he also composed music for the score on Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections (2021). Babylon Berlin, which he co-created, is the most expensive German TV series of all time.
The Light, shot in Germany and Kenya, will roll out theatrically in Germany via X Verleih together with Warner Bros. Germany on Oct. 17. Uwe Schott produced the film through X Filme Creative Pool in co-production with ZDF, ARP Séléction, Gold Rush Pictures, Gretchenfilm and B.A. Filmproduktion with subsidy support from Germany’s DFFF film fund, federal film board the FFA and regional subsidies from the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Film and Medienstiftung NRW.
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